Football – England – League One
Wednesday 16th January 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
In Wednesday night’s sole League One fixture, hosts Coventry City take on League One leaders Tranmere Rovers at the Ricoh Arena looking to get their play-off plans back on track following their defeat at Carlisle United on Sunday.
Coventry have now suffered back-to-back defeats which has halted their progress up the table with a loss also at home to Shrewsbury Town on New Years Day 0-1. These two defeats have unfortunately undone their previous hard work where they went unbeaten for eight league matches to set them up for an assault on breaking into the play-off pack.
The Sky Blues now face a tough task of picking up points when league leaders Tranmere Rovers visit on Wednesday night. Coventry’s home record stands at 3-5-5 19/17 and they’ve won just once in their last five which was a 5-1 win over fellow midlanders Walsall but losses against Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury along with draws against lowly Portsmouth and mid-table Preston haven’t been enough.
It’s no coincidence that Coventry’s sudden dip in form followed the departure of their leading scorer David McGoldrick (16 goals) who was on loan from Nottingham Forest has now joined Championship club Ipswich Town on loan which has severely depleted Coventry’s attacking stocks. Instead, Carl Baker (7 goals, 5 assists) and Franck Moussa (4 goals) along with assists from Fleck (6 assists) and McSheffrey (4 assists) must shoulder the attacking responsibilities.
Tranmere Rovers will make the trip down to the midlands in good spirits following their solid 2-0 home win over Crawley Town at the weekend which has edged out automatic promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers on goal difference at the top of the table. They now have a good chance of picking up at least another point at wobbling Coventry to go clear at the top.
Tranmere have won their last four league matches on the trot with wins over Crewe Alexandra 2-1, Scunthorpe United 1-0, Bury 1-0 and the Crawley result which has revived their automatic promotion ambitions following a period of six matches without a win.
Away from home, Tranmere have been very solid indeed losing just twice all season on their travels and have beaten the likes of Crawley Town and Notts County along with grabbing points at Crewe, Stevenage and Sheffield United and with an overall away record of 7-4-2 19/13, they possess a good pedigree going into this match.
However, like Coventry, the lure of Championship football has struck with the release of promising forward Jake Cassidy (11 goals) to Wolves and is no surprise that he has been snapped up by a ‘bigger club’. Life goes on though and Rovers till possess some handy attacking personnel such as Andy Robinson (9 goals, 3 assists), Akpa-Akpro (7 goals, 2 assists) and Adam McGurk (2 goals, 5 assists)
Coventry are really struggling without the services of McGoldrick up front and with Tranmere’s solid away form I’ll back the visitors to grab at least a point here at what is a very good price. Could be either a 1-1 draw or perhaps Rovers to sneak it 2-1.
Pick: Tranmere Rovers AH+0.5 @ 1.76 Pinnacle